AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Good afternoon, On behalf of President Barack Obama and Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank, I am delighted to be here with you this afternoon.
I always look forward to being in the company of my good friend, Marie Johns, and applaud the work of her and her team at the Small Business Administration. MBDA and SBA are strong partners in the President’s efforts to create an economy built to last and I am proud of that partnership.
I am also particularly excited to support the efforts of the UNCF Special Programs Corporation (UNCFSP). MBDA and UNCFSP have a common goal: to build a strong minority economic community that is global in its reach. We each seek to provide the minority community with capacity-building opportunities, develop pipelines into the private sector, and opening up the federal marketplace for minority-owned businesses.
I’d like to tell you about how MBDA goes about accomplishing this mission. President Obama has laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and improved skills for American workers. An economy where everyone has a fair chance, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules. It is a message that has deep resonance for the minority business community. Especially when it is backed up by actions that help minority-owned businesses grow and prosper.
The President has called on all of us to strengthen public-private relationships so that U.S. businesses have every opportunity and tool to succeed. MBDA has answered the President’s call creating unprecedented opportunities for minority-owned enterprises to increase their global competitive advantage and their capabilities to create jobs.
We now have an INTEGRATED…. nationwide network of over 40 MBDA Business Centers providing businesses with on-the-ground support and the resources they need to thrive and flourish.
Since the beginning of the Obama administration:
MBDA and its business centers have helped create and save nearly 30,000 American jobs.
And MBDA Business Centers have helped clients secure contracts and financial awards totaling over $15 billion
Last year alone, MBDA secured nearly $4 billion in financing opportunities and contracts while helping to create nearly 6,000 new jobs. MBDA also achieved a Return on Investment (ROI) of 130 times. That’s up from an ROI of 70 times at the start of the Obama Administration. And we continue to look for new ways to expand our reach through new centers.
Over the course of the Obama Administration….MBDA has opened centers in Boston; Cleveland; Denver; Minneapolis; Memphis; Fresno and Anchorage, Alaska. This year, we also launched our MBDA Federal Procurement Center here in Washington, DC that is focused exclusively on federal contracting.
In 2010, only 8% of federal contracts were awarded to small and disadvantaged businesses. I hope you will agree…. that we can improve upon this number....
MBDA is also working to help minority-owned businesses take their place on the global stage. More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside the borders of the United States ….and MBDA can help you reach those markets. Through the National Export Initiative, which focuses on doubling exports by the end of 2014, minority firms are being recruited to go global.
MBDA works closely with the International Trade Administration to promote business-to-business partnerships between U.S firms and firms in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. These are markets minority-owned firms should consider in their growth strategy. Our communities, our country, and the global economy depend on the success of the minority business community. MBDA has enjoyed great success over the last four years; however, we recognize that sustained success is very much a joint effort.
That is why we look to forming strategic partnerships with various entities to pool resources and share knowledge. Academia is certainly a valuable partner in our effort to create jobs and grow the economy. As I mentioned, much of our success has come from the work of the MBDA Business Center network, some of whom are operated by various universities. We are proud of our associations with schools such as Georgia Tech, University of Alaska, University of Texas at San Antonio and United Tribes Technical College. These represent some of our best operators.
We also look to UNCFSP who has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with our Federal Procurement Center. In light of their combined experiences in the federal marketplace and constituencies I am certain this MOU will be a tremendous asset to both parties.
Going forward I encourage each of you to look to MBDA as a resource partner. Especially those of you in the university sector. Though we may not be able to place a center in your university, as a strategic partner, together we can be a force for job creation and economic growth in your communities. I look forward to a robust question session and thank UNCFSP for the invitation to speak today.